Councillor slams Aberdeen pantomime over Alex Salmond cameo

A councillor has slammed Aberdeen's Christmas pantomime for promoting '˜partisan rhetoric' - because Alex Salmond has a cameo in it.

Oh no he didn't: Alex Salmond has laughed off Martin Greig's criticism. Picture: John Devlin

Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Greig claims the former First Minister is ‘dressing up politics as entertainment’ by appearing in the production of Dick McWhittington at His Majesty’s Theatre.

Mr Salmond portrays fictional newsreader Angus McFungus in a video clip at the start of the pantomime, in which he warns Aberdonians of King Rat’s invasion.

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But Mr Greig - who admitted he hasn’t seen the pantomime - branded Mr Salmond’s cameo as ‘opportunistic and unwelcome’, adding: “The SNP do not represent an impartial, neutral view.”

Mr Greig told the Evening Express that he was concerned about the impact Mr Salmond’s appearance would have on the local council elections in May, adding that it was ‘inappropriate’ for a party to have such exposure.

Mr Greig said: “Constituents have told me of their discomfort in listening to political commentary from a politician who does not have a connection to the city and is making fun at the expense of the city.”

But Mr Salmond and Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) have defended the pantomime, with the former SNP leader branding Mr Greig a ‘party pooper’.

APA chief Craig Pike added: “There is no political message in the script.

“The panto opens with a newsflash to provide context for the plot. The pantomime company cast around for a well-known face to play the newsreader.

“Alex Salmond was approached for this reason alone and agreed to film the opening scene.”

Mr Salmond laughed off Mr Greig’s comments, saying: “Everyone is enjoying themselves at the superb Aberdeen panto except this sad excuse for a party pooper.

“The villain at His Majesty’s is King Rat. This Liberal has made himself the king prat. Politicians should learn to laugh at themselves, like Ed Balls did on [Strictly Come Dancing].

Mr Salmond received support from Labour councillor Willie Young, who said: “No matter what anybody thinks of Alex Salmond - and I’m sure there were as many hisses as there were cheers - he is the former First Minister.

“I am disappointed Councillor Greig has chosen to try and make political capital out of our much loved panto.”